Music: The Rise of Stereo

"Now everyone gets the best seat in the house," says Conductor Erich Leinsdorf. "That is proper for a democracy, is it not?" The "best seat" is a living room sofa facing a wall equipped with two speakers six to eight feet apart. If listener and speakers are positioned correctly, there seems to issue from the wall a wave of what is known as stereophonic sound. Nothing has so excited listeners and record makers since, more than a decade ago, the long-playing disk ushered in the Age of High Fidelity. Stereophony's extra clarity and depth...

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